The Blinn College Boys

Blinn College in Brenham (TX) has seen more than its share of Division I-A recruiters hanging around this winter, and Iowa State has been no exception. Get an update from Blinn College's head coach on Alex Cook, Michael Tate, and where they stand with ISU.

If you've been following Iowa State football recruiting in the past month then you're very familiar with the fine Junior College program at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. 


Gene Chizik and his new staff have recruited three players – Alex Cook, Ryan Mouton, and Michael Tate – from the team ranked #1 in the nation amongst junior colleges following the 2006 season to finish off an unblemished 12-0 season.  Mouton has since decided on Hawaii, while Tate has pledged to ISU and the Cyclones recently hosted Cook on an official visit.


The head coach at Blinn College, Brad Franchione, has a familiar last name.  That's because he's the son of Texas A&M football coach Dennis Franchione.  On Thursday, Cyclone Nation had the chance to talk to Coach Franchione about Tate and Cook. 


CN: Let's start with Alex Cook.  He might be the highest-regarded recruit ISU is after between now and Signing Day.  Where do things stand with him?


Franchione: Right now I would say it's down Arkansas, Cal, Iowa State and maybe Florida.  He's trying to figure out what he's looking for.  I don't think he necessarily has a favorite, but I think if Florida were to offer I think he'll end up there because that's where he's from.  The coach at Arkansas that was recruiting him all this time is gone now, so that could be a factor with them, too.  You never know.


CN: Arkansas and Florida being in the mix aren't a surprise, but where do things stand with California?


Franchione: That's something that has just happened over the last two weeks.  He's heading out to Cal this weekend for a visit.


CN: What has told you about ISU?


Franchione: He said he had a good time, but he was sort of quiet about it because ISU coaches were still around.  The coach recruiting him is (offensive coordinator) Robert McFarland and he's a great guy.   


CN: Tell us about Alex as a young man.


Franchione: He's a difference maker.  He makes plays and he wins ball games for us.  He's just a great pure athlete.  He stood up and played linebacker for us in nickel package and even dropped into coverage some.  He played defensive end and was a good pass-rusher.  He's soft-spoken, but he's a fun kid to be around.


CN: What about Michael Tate, who is already committed to ISU?


Franchione: Tate is a good athlete.  He played tailback in high school so that should tell you something about what kind of athlete he is.  He has great speed, and is very quick and explosive.  He played this year with injuries that dampened his production.  If you get him healthy and physically able to play he could be an Alex Cook-type of player. 


CN: Do you think those injuries negatively impacted his recruiting exposure, because only ranks him as a 1-star prospect?


Franchione: Absolutely.  I know of two big schools that would've offered him right off the bat had he not had some injury problems. 


CN: Tell us about Michael as a person beyond football.


Franchione: He's an intelligent kid that signed with Arkansas out of high school and played for them for a year, so he's not new to the Division I-A climate.  We didn't have to worry about him while he was here and he always took care of his business.


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